Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Classroom Photos (Older)

My classroom when I first began teaching first grade was VERY different from the room that I moved out of last month. I was REALLY into trying to create a calm, simplistic room for my students to play, work, and grow in. Throughout my Master's degree program I was ObSsEsSeD with trying to implement a Reggio Emilia / Montessori feel into the regular public school structure. Over the course of the year I found that my idealistic philosophy and the school's traditional expectations didn't exactly mesh to my advantage, so I became more "traditional." Fitting the more traditional mold meant several things, including switching from tables to desks and putting more "stuff" on the walls. However, when I look back at these photos I cannot help but think, "Wow! What an inviting room!" I'm hoping to try to blend both types of rooms in my new classroom. I want to ensure at least one space in the new room has the same calm, simplicity as this.

The reading area (foreground) and my desk / storage cabinets (behind).

I did a LOT of art-integrated lessons, so the kidney table being on tile was perfect. I love the light wicker baskets on the shelf in the corner.

Original whole-group meeting area.

Original small group conferencing table.

Original whole-group meeting area (from another angle).

Oil-pastel dogwood tree on the door. (It was really sad taking that down after four years.)

A shot of the room from behind my desk. I ended up using one of the kidney tables as seating.

Whole-group meeting area after I moved it to the other side of the room. I later downsized this even more to accommodate how many students I had (more students = more tables, chairs, and general stuff).

Whole group meeting area from a different angle.
Looking back, there is so much more WHITE in this room compared to when I moved out! I also had very little furniture in the beginning. The room had been an ISS room, so I was working with a blank slate (teacher desk and chair). Over the next few years I brought in furniture from home (bookshelves mostly) and collected discarded tables from other teachers (for centers around the room and non-traditional seating option). In one photo you can see I was SO intent on being simple that I didn't even put fabric on the bulletin board!

Want to know something amazing?! I was able to have fake flowers/plants in this room for 3 1/2 years before the Fire Marshall told me to remove them. That's amazing! Yes, yes, they DO collect dust, but wiping them every few months resolves that. Plus, I believe it makes things feel softer in the space. I'm really excited to be able to place the hydrangeas around my room again!

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